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2010 Stanley Cup Playoff Picks – Canadiens vs. Penguins

NHL Playoff Betting: Canadiens vs Penguins Series Preview & Pick

Stanley Cup Betting fans sure are getting their money’s worth from the free nhl picks we give out here at Capperspicks.com. There are now 8 teams competing for Lord Stanley’s Cup. Stick with us for the entire 2010 NHL Stanley cup playoff run.

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Schedule.

  • Friday, April 30 at Pittsburgh, 7:00 p.m. CBC, RDS, VERSUS
  • Sunday, May 2 at Pittsburgh, 2:00 p.m. NBC, CBC, RDS
  • Tuesday, May 4 at Montreal, 7:00 p.m. CBC, RDS, VERSUS
  • Thursday, May 6 at Montreal, 7:00 p.m. CBC, RDS, VERSUS
  • *Saturday, May 8 at Pittsburgh, 7:00 p.m. CBC, RDS, VERSUS
  • *Monday, May 10 at Montreal, 7:00 p.m. CBC, RDS, VERSUS
  • *Wednesday, May 12 at Pittsburgh, TBD CBC, RDS, VERSUS

Canadiens vs Penguins Odds To Win 7 Game Series: NHL CONFERENCE SEMIFINALS SERIERS PRICES BEST OF SEVEN 2-2-1-1-1

3101 Canadiens SERIES +350
3102 Penguins SERIES -430

Well, that was interesting, wasn’t it?

The Montreal Canadiens did the unthinkable and ousted the top-seeded Capitals in what was supposed to be the most lopsided first-round playoff matchup. After they (meaning Jaroslav Halak) stole a series from the Eastern Conference favorite, should we take them seriously against the Penguins? Or will the Cup champs’ experience prevail?

(8) MONTREAL CANADIENS VS (4) PITTSBURGH PENGUINS

To figure out whether or not lightning can strike twice for Montreal, the best strategy is to review every way it beat Washington and predict if Pittsburgh will make the same mistakes.

First and foremost, the Habs out-goaltended the Caps by a mile. With all due respect to Montreal as a whole, Jaroslav Halak won the last three games of the series almost singlehandedly.

He stopped an absurd 131 of 34 shots during the three victories. He faced 38, 54 and 42 shots over that span. The Habs had 28, 21 and 16 shots on goal. It’s almost like Montreal should be sheepish about winning.

Semyon Varlamov (and earlier, Jose Theodore) didn’t lose the series for Washington in goal but he wasn’t as good as he needed to be – partially because he saw so little action and was probably cold. So will Pittsburgh and Marc-Andre Fleury make the same mistakes? I doubt it.

Sure, Fleury lays the odd egg, and it will be interesting to see how he handles the pressure as a French Canadian goalie travelling to Montreal, but he’s reached two straight Stanley Cup finals. He’s got nerves of steel when it matters.

Secondly, Washington’s big guns really disappeared as the series progressed. Alex Ovechkin couldn’t catch a break; Alex Semin was a non-entity; Mike Green proved why he didn’t make Canada’s Olympic team. Can we bettors, or the Habs for that matter, expect a similar flop from the hugely clutch Pittsburgh Penguins?

All Sidney Crosby does is win. If Ovechkin is LeBron, Crosby is Kobe. He won the Cup last June, a gold medal (with the overtime winner) in February and he had 14 points in six games against Ottawa in the Eastern Conference quarter-final. He’s joined by fellow clutch warriors like Ruslan Fedotenko, Bill Guerin, Jordan Staal and even the battle-hardened Brooks Orpik. Sports Betting at Sportsbook.com

All these guys are hugely experienced in the postseason.

All that and we still haven’t mentioned Evgeni Malkin. Geno is maddeningly inconsistent but, for every bad playoff series he has, he explodes for a great one. He wasn’t noticeable but actually played decently against Ottawa, notching four goals and eight points.

If he rediscovers his elite scoring touch, the Habs will have huge headaches.

Another factor to consider: Washington’s usually devastating power play “functioned” at a three per cent clip in the first round. Three! The Pens, who always save their best for the playoffs, worked at 25 per cent on the power play against Ottawa.

So we’ve established that the defending champion Penguins aren’t likely to mimic any of Washington’s shortcomings against Montreal. We’ve also established that the Habs won their series despite being hugely outplayed on paper.

Even Montreal’s shifty, smallish forwards won’t fool the poised, experienced Penguin defense the same way they fooled the Caps’ green, free-wheeling blueliners.

Sorry, but Joe Corvo or Mike Green simply can’t punish a forechecker the way Orpik or Jay McKee can.

The Penguins must’ve clicked their heels when Montreal slew Goliath last night. Is it just me or do they have a free pass to the final now? The Habs will ride their adrenaline to stay competitive but won’t win this series.

Prediction: Penguins in six

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Comments

Comments

  1. bert Vanular says:

    Not saying the Habs will win this series because Pittsburgh has so many different weapon and they are battle tested but Halak winning the last 3 games oin his own? What a load of crap! Montreal’s defense was dynamic and it took a TOTAL team effort to defeat the Washington Capitals. I agree that Halak did steal Game 6 and he was superb but his teammates were there for him also. Did you even watch this series? The Habs defense blocked an incredible 41 shots in Game 7 alone and the entire team including their forwards were consciencious and committed to defending and clearing their zone. To say that the Habs should feel sheepish about winning is the biggest load of horse manure I have ever read. You should either watch the games or learn about defensive hockey – a style that usually wins in the playoffs when the entire team buys in. The better more talented players were on Washington but the better team that played as a TEAM was Montreal and they fully deserved this victory

  2. so long as the thought of riches is dangled in front of all people involved in nhl and small market teams get handouts by bettmen canadian teams will throw games so that the league can keep trying to sell the game to usa

  3. thats really funny because the series is 2-2 and crosby hasnt scored a goal yet, looks like the habs faired a bit better than you expected Go Habs GO!

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